I was lounging on my top bunk on a sunny Thursday afternoon, watching YouTube videos with my feet propped up against the wall. All of my roommates left for the day, presumably to tour the city or just to enjoy the gorgeous weather, allowing me to take advantage of having the dorm to myself. This was my second visit to Auckland and my second stay at this particular hostel. I knew what the city had to offer, and I just wanted to relax. Plus, I was coming off hiking the Abel Tasman just days prior, and my body was still screaming from that feat. So, I was chillin’, watching videos, eating snacks, and sliding my bare feet along the grainy wall.
Some time passed, and in walks a male roommate―let’s call him Shane―who shared the bunk, sleeping below me. Shane was a young guy who appeared to be in his early twenties, with a fair complexion and an average build. We never engaged in conversation but were cordial. I can’t speak about Shane’s nationality, which is irrelevant to this story. This young chap left the room maybe two-to-three hours prior and now returned with a young lady he must have just met because they didn’t interact with any familiarity. I greeted them when they entered the room and assumed Shane was making a pit stop to grab something he’d forgotten. I put my earbuds in to be courteous for the time being and tuned back into my video.
Soon after, I realized they weren’t leaving. The two of them cozied up on Shane’s bunk right below me and made it clear that they planned to stay. I could hear them whispering and giggling. Yes, I had my earbuds in, but in between the commentary, I could distinctly hear them snickering and mimicking the sound children make when they first learn how to whisper―that screechy, pressured voice that measures somewhere in between an actual whisper and low registered speech. I turned the volume up and tuned them out, figuring they didn’t realize I was using headphones and they were free to talk normally.
But then the bed started shaking, and the box springs squealed to inform it was under duress. I ignored it at first, thinking they were adjusting their positions or bouncing from a hearty laugh. However, the rumbling did not stop; it only intensified. At that point, I paused the video to investigate further because I knew these grown people did not have the temerity to lay in a bed right beneath a stranger and bump hips like we were in a frat house. Yep, that’s precisely what they were doing. Who does that?
I sat up with an expression of disbelief smeared all over my face. I’m an older traveler; I get it. But even in my youth, I would have taken issue with a bunkmate doing the old “lust and thrust” right in my presence as if I wasn’t even there. How disrespectful. The nerve of both of them! I’m unsure if I was more annoyed with Shane for being so inconsiderate or the random girl he picked up for agreeing to be fondled in front of an audience. Though, one thing was certain; I was about to cock block!
I jumped down from the top bunk and berated them both. “Seriously?” I said, looking disgruntled. “You’re seriously doing this while I’m right above you? I’m in the room, dude. How fucking disrespectful!” Shane threw an obligatory “Sorry” at me, all while wearing a smug expression, indicating to me that he didn’t really see an issue with their conduct. He lay fully clothed atop this young lady who was naked from the waist up. She barely covered her breasts with her hands while shrugging to suggest I was being a killjoy. Yup. I sure was. And I was about to add snitch to my résumé.
I hastily slid into my flip-flops and marched down to the receptionist to complain and demand he be removed from the room. I had that total “I want to speak to the manager” energy going, and the receptionist apologized profusely for the experience. He advised me to wait in the lounge while he handled the situation. Five or ten minutes later, he returned to inform me that both were removed from the room, and Shane would no longer be staying there for violating their policy.
I won’t lie; I kind of felt like a dick at that point because I didn’t intend to get the guy kicked out of the hostel, especially not midday, where he’d now have to scramble to find somewhere else to stay. And it’s not like they could go to her place, wherever that was, since she was a foreign traveler, and they obviously came there for a reason. I just thought they’d put him in another room, to be honest. My anger quickly dissipated and was replaced with regret and concern about where this young man would stay. He was an inconsiderate jerk, no doubt, but there was no need for him to be a homeless jerk.
So, I appealed to the manager to allow him to move into another room. Unfortunately, the hostel was at capacity, and the only option was for him to remain in our room. Welp, some lessons come with stiff consequences, I guess, cuz that wasn’t happening. Shane came down to the lounge to apologize, this time more sincerely, given his predicament. I explained to him that their action was offensive and a form of involuntary voyeurism, forcing me to witness their sexual escapades without my desire or consent. While I was sympathetic to his situation, I was unwilling to share a room with him.
Shane apologized to me again while the girl scoffed arrogantly. Then they were ushered out of the hostel, Shane with his luggage in tow. The manager and receptionist offered another round of apologies and gave me free snacks for the inconvenience. I returned to the room and shook my head in disbelief. Had I just gone outdoors like a regular tourist, none of this would have happened (at least not for me to witness). Se la vie! I climbed back up to my top bunk and resumed watching videos, eating my snacks, and sliding my bare feet along the grainy wall.